Rising to the Rural Broadband Challenge

500_07-exec-kevin-murphy-737x737-774489 Kevin Murphy July 20, 2021

Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) had previously shown that Full Fibre could provide a real boost to communities across the UK and boost labour productivity by nearly £59 billion (approximately 81 billion USD) by 2025.

The pandemic has challenged old certainties, and accelerated previous trends. A million more people could be helped to access employment through increased flexible working. Two million more people could work remotely from home, reducing transport and housing pressures in big cities and boosting local and rural economies across the country.

Taking a Fibre First approach

We’ve already built Full Fibre technology to around 5 million premises – from the Outer Hebrides to the Isles of Scilly – and that includes hundreds of market towns and villages.

It’s all part of a target to reach 25 million homes and businesses by the end of 2026.

Our commitment to rural Britain is the largest of any network builder in the country. We’ll be upgrading around six million premises in the hardest to reach third of the country and we’re in a hurry to make this a reality.

CLICK TO TWEET: In this blog, Kevin Murphy explains how OpenReach and CommScope are partnering to deliver Full Fibre to improve rural broadband in the United Kingdom.

Fibre Journey: From Factory to Field

In Wales, we’ve helped build fibre broadband to more than 95% of the country (some 1.6m premises) – and now we’re going even further and faster. We’re building our ultrafast full fibre network across every local authority area in Wales at an incredible speed while also working with the Welsh Government to help reach a number of properties that find themselves in the ‘final 5%’. But that’s not the only initiative happening in Wales – this is where the fibre journey begins.

As part of the Openreach collaboration, approximately 30-50 manufacturing engineers will be hired by CommScope in Rhyl, Wales.  They will assemble connectorised block terminals, the fibre connection point where individual fibres connect to a premise’s main fibre cable.  These can be found on top of a telephone pole or within a chamber in the ground.

We recently had the chance to visit the CommScope manufacturing site in Rhyl, Wales to have a better glimpse into where the fibre journey begins.  I also had a chance to say hello to those who are starting their career in fibre – we see this as a great opportunity for young people!

Check out this video for more on our visit and the benefits of collaborating with CommScope.

(Note: The above has been submitted as a guest post to CommScope Blogs by Kevin Murphy, MD for Fibre and Network Delivery at Openreach. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to CommScope Blogs, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)

About the Author


Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy, MD for Fibre and Network Delivery at Openreach.